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Tuesday 6th March: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss a couple of topical issues in the news

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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester theatre reviews

Maxine Peake as Miss Julie and Joe Armstrong as Jean in MISS JULIE. Photo by Jonathan Keenan

Miss Julie by August Strindberg

Royal Exchange, Manchester

Reviewed by Bill Hughes May 2012 

 

Sarah Frankcom, in directing Strindberg’s Miss Julie at the Royal Exchange, resists the impulse so often indulged by the company to take classic drama out of its context and make crass points on twenty-first-century issues. And, given Strindberg’s confrontation with class and feminism, this would have been easy to do.

 

Strindberg’s play was written in 1888, on the cusp of massive social change - class barriers were dissolving, religious certainties collapsing, the Woman Question was in the air (especially as voiced by Strindberg’s bête noir, the progressive Ibsen). The new form of naturalist drama and the formal experiments of Strindberg create a new drama appropriate for the age. This involved such techniques as doing away with act and scene divisions, for instance, having actors perform mundane tasks to ensure a continuous flow of dramatic action while significant events take place off stage.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Henry V at Liverpool Playhouse

Henry V at Liverpool Playhouse

Reviewed by Emma Short April 2012

 

The Globe Theatre, who are currently touring the UK before their main season launches in early June on Bankside, have brought Shakespeare's Henry V to the Liverpool Playhouse. Framed by its famous proscenium arch the unfolding of England's victory over France at the battle of Agincourt under the direction of Dominic Dromgoole was a pleasure to witness indeed.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

TOPOPHOBIA: Fear of Place in Contemporary Art

TOPOPHOBIA:
Fear of Place in Contemporary Art

at the Bluecoat, Liverpool

Reviewed by Denis Joe April 2012

 

It is generally accepted that phobias arise from a combination of external events (i.e. traumatic events) and internal predispositions (i.e. heredity or genetics). Many specific phobias can be traced back to a specific triggering event, usually a traumatic experience at an early age. Social phobias and agoraphobia have more complex causes that are not entirely known at this time.

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Manchester music reviews

Manchester Mid-day Concerts

The Manchester Mid-Day Concerts Society

Reflections on two performances at The Bridgewater Hall

by Charlotte Starkey March 2012

 

Another season of The Manchester Mid-Day Concerts is drawing to a close with the last concert on Thursday, 19th April. Whilst these observations are written towards the end of a memorable season of music, this is a useful moment to look back briefly at a couple of recent concerts in preparation for what is to come in the forthcoming season beginning later this year.
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Manchester film reviews

She Stoops to Conquer

She Stoops to Conquer, National Theatre

Screened at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Anne Ryan March 2012

 

Following the National Theatre’s production of A Comedy of Errors we have another of the classics of British theatre presented on the big screen - Sophie Thompson acts up a storm in She Stoops to Conquer. Oliver Goldsmith’s 18th century masterpiece is a warm and witty comedy, and here we have a blissfully funny production by an ensemble of skilled comic actors.

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Manchester food reviews

Table Table: GMEX, Manchester Central

Table Table Manchester Central, GMEX

Lower Moseley Street, Manchester

Reviewed by Helen Nugent March 2012

 

As a rule, I tend to steer clear of anywhere that describes itself as a “pub restaurant”. Experience has taught me that this gastronomic hybrid has a worrying propensity to disappoint and, if truth be told, an unappealing habit of overcooking even the most basic of food.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Crossing Points at Liverpool Playhouse

Crossing Points at Liverpool Playhouse

Performed by Phoenix Dance Theatre

Reviewed by Jennifer Iddon March 2012

 

A good few years ago I undertook a Performing Arts course and on the whole embraced every aspect of the course except the dreaded movement class. I disliked the movement classes and if like at school there had of been a report at the end of the year I would have definitely been in the ‘must try harder’ category. I could not get the point of the classes, imagine the stereotype scenario of a movement class whilst reciting phases like ‘feel the space’ and ‘let your movements be organic’. You’re possibly getting the picture.

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Manchester music reviews

Life is a Dream by Birmingham Opera Company

Life is a Dream by Birmingham Opera Company

at Argyle Works, Birmingham

Reviewed by Denis Joe March 2012

 

Going to see an opera doesn’t normally entail a drive to an industrial estate warehouse on the outskirts of the city, but this was to be a new experience for me: opera denuded of its high art pretentions.

 

I had heard whispers about Birmingham Opera Company before: this was opera for the masses; cutting edge and the realisation of Berthold Brecht’s revolutionary approach to theatre outlined in his Short Organum for the Theatre.

 

Arriving at the ‘venue’ in Digbeth, Birmingham, we made our way through a strip door into a small warehouse section with a makeshift bar and people standing around or sitting on a few work benches and chairs.

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Manchester film reviews

The Kid With a Bike, Thomas Doret and Egon Di Mateo

The Kid with a Bike at Cornerhouse

Reviewed by Anne Ryan March 2012

 

The films of Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne portray lonely vulnerable characters fighting to survive. Filmed in an almost documentary style, they portray the reality of the lives of the poor. In Rosetta, the winner of the 1999 Palme d'Or, the child of an alcoholic lives in a trailer park and survives from pay day to pay day. L'Enfant tackled the story of a man who sells his newborn child to black marketeers. In their most recent film, Lorna's Silence they turned to a portrayal of Liege's criminal underworld. The Kid With a Bike returns to the industrial wastland of Seraing in Belgium and the world of the underclass.
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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Ministry of Craft

Ministry of Craft: Mother's Day Pick ‘n’ Mix

Downstairs at Fred Aldous, Manchester

Reviewed by Helen Nugent March 2012

 

During a weekend when supermarkets were awash with children of all ages scooping up flowers and cards, the Ministry of Craft offered an alternative to traditional Mother’s Day gifts.

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